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7 Tips to Win More Customers for Your Drone Business

If you own a drone business you already know how challenging it can be to drum up new customers. While it’s true that some drone pilots are able to start small and scale their business quickly, for many drone pilots it can be a challenge to find new work.

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We hear from drone pilots all the time with tips and creative ideas for how they’ve managed to grow their client base, and we’ve collected those tips into this list to help you grow your business.

Here are our seven tips to help you win more customers for your drone business—let’s dive in.

TIP 1: KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER

The first step in the process of growing your customer base is knowing who your customer is.

Before you start creating fliers, a website, or hitting the pavement to get customers, take a step back and make sure you understand who your ideal customer, or customers, are.

Maybe it will be realtors, or farmers, or maybe it will be local car dealerships who want aerial footage for their ads.

Make sure to consider the needs in your area—who do you think will actually hire you? This will help you define your ideal customer, and help you start to plan your business.

Determining your ideal customers is the first crucial step toward helping you figure out how to actually go out and get them.

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TIP 2: KEEP COLLATERAL ON HAND

Keep business cards and a one pager on hand at all times. This is pretty simple, but really important.

Just think about it—if you’re out flying somewhere and someone asks if they might be able to hire you, you don’t want to miss that opportunity.

Having a business card and a one pager listing your services to give to that person on the spot could be the difference between you getting a new client or not.

TIP 3: PROVIDE A PREVIEW OF SERVICES

If people in your area seem wary of trying out drone services, explore the option of providing potential customers with a preview of your services.

One way to do this is to create a demo reel so that people can understand your skills. A reel is always a good way to show people what you can do.

But if you’re just starting out, you may not have enough footage to create a reel. One commercial drone pilot we know who was just getting started set up appointments with all the realtors in his area when he first launched his aerial services business and offered to do his first shoot for free.

He did a small project for free, a realtor loved it, and this led to an ongoing relationship and one of his biggest accounts. Nine months later, he’s still getting work from that realtor.

On the other hand, some drone pilots feel like giving away services undervalues their work, and prefer not to go this route. At the end of the day, it’s totally up to you and what you think will be most effective to get you new customers.

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TIP 4: ALWAYS BE DOING OUTREACH

By outreach we mean contacting people who might be interested in your services. This could be calling, emailing, or leaving your card and one pager at their office.

Make sure you’re addressing their needs when you reach out—this means not just talking about drone services in general, but talking about how aerial shots could help a realtor sell more properties, or a construction foreman better understand the locations of his assets on site.

If they don’t get back—and many won’t—you can always try impressing them by sending them a few sample shots of relevant work that might appeal to them.

When it comes to sales, you want to walk the line between staying on someone’s radar and annoying them. But you can’t find new customers without a little hustle, so don’t be shy to get out there and contact people.

To give you an extreme example, we know one pilot who courted a new customer by taking sunrise shots of their castle in upstate New York. Up until that point the team running the property had ignored him, but when they saw his pictures they hired him shortly afterward.

TIP 5: DON’T BE AFRAID TO NETWORK

This also might sound obvious, but it’s another thing that’s really important when you’re trying to grow a client base for your business.

When you approach networking, don’t be casual about who you might know that does this or that.

Instead, try writing out a list of contacts you have in industries likely to need drone services. Then, instead of contacting them off the cuff, think about their particular needs and how you might be able to showcase the value you can provide for them.

Don’t just assume that knowing someone means they’ll hire you or refer you. Instead, put in the legwork and wow them with your professionalism.

TIP 6: TRY REFERRAL PROGRAMS

One of the easiest ways to grow your customer base is to leverage your happy customers by giving them an incentive for telling other people about your services.

There are lots of ways to structure a referral program, and you’ll probably be able to discover what works best for you through trial and error.

Try offering customers a discount, a free package, or some other incentive for every referral they give you that leads to work.

And remember to make it easy on those customers doing the referrals—provide some kind of card or code, or some way for the people they’re referring to easily identify where they found out about you, so your existing customers can easily get whatever reward you might have promised for the referral.

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TIP 7: LISTEN MORE THAN YOU TALK

All of the tips up to this point have covered ways to bring in new potential customers and let them know about your drone services, and this is really important.

But it’s also important to know how to sell—that is, to know how to get a potential customer to actually hire you.

While some people might say that sales means knowing your talking points and sticking to them, the truth is that most people don’t want to be talked at. What they want is someone who will listen to their problems, and try to find solutions.

Before meeting with a potential client, try to do some research on their business and have some idea about the type of work they might need. If you really want to impress them, take a few test shots and have them on hand for the meeting.

During the meeting, ask them what they need, and remember that they might not fully know. Talk them through different options, and hold off on talking about money until you really understand what they’re looking for, so you can propose a price that will actually address the full scope of the work they need.

By listening less than you talk, you’ll be nurturing a long term relationship, and over time you’ll get more customers this way.

We hope you found this list useful for your efforts to grow your client base. Now go out there and get some new customers!

The post 7 Tips to Win More Customers for Your Drone Business appeared first on UAV Coach.

Is Drone Delivery Already Here? Why BVLOS Flight and Drone Delivery Don’t Have to Go Together

Workhorse Group recently announced that they are performing drone delivery in Ohio, with cooperation of the FAA.  It’s not a project listed as part of the UAS Integration Pilot Program, designed to accommodate applications not allowed under current regulations.  But citizens of Loveland, OH can now opt to have packages delivered by drone. How is […]

The post Is Drone Delivery Already Here? Why BVLOS Flight and Drone Delivery Don’t Have to Go Together appeared first on DRONELIFE.

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Airobotics Drones Survey $1 Billion Israeli Port Project

Israeli drone provider Airobotics is improving its home country’s coastline, partnering with a major construction developer to survey a new seaport in Haifa. The startup will work with Shapir-Ashtrom – a joint venture of construction and civil engineering companies, Shapir Civil and Marine Engineering Ltd., and Ashtrom Properties Ltd. – to develop Gulf Port, a $1 billion […]

The post Airobotics Drones Survey $1 Billion Israeli Port Project appeared first on DRONELIFE.

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Drone power distribution board

Hello Everyone,

Below is a picture of a power distribution board we made
It can be used with the major part of autopilots like : Pixhawks, APMs, DJI and has holes for Pixhawk2.1 mount.

All the specifications are on the PDB page : http://www.airbot-systems.com/produit/x8-power-distribution-board-180a/

Feel free to contact if you have any question, if you want one or if you want to add it to your web store ;-)
Thanks !
Julien

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Tips for Building your First Racing Drone

If you’re one of those guys that love to build stuff with their own hands and just go crazy over DIY kits, you’re going to love this article. If besides all that you’re also a big fan of drones and especially racing models, then you just hit the jackpot because in the following rows you will be able to access free tips on how to build your first racing drone. For those of you that never saw a drone in your life and are interested in joining this very entertaining hobby, there’s no reason to be worried. You will find out that you don’t need any kind of superpower in order to be great at building drones and racing drones as well.

It All Comes Down to Nuts, Screws and Bolts

You can’t really build anything without being able to properly link its different pieces together. And since a drone needs the perfect mix of flexibility and toughness, using the handy screws, nuts and bolts is the perfect way to go. You will need to make sure that everything is tightened and as a pro-tip, you can use Loctite gel in order to make sure everything stays in place. Due to vibrations and the powerful motors used for racing drones, one of the most frequent issues is the loosening of screws which leads to more powerful vibrations, lack of sensitivity when it comes to steering and an overall worse control over your drone.

Use Light Materials

Sure, it’s not like by giving you this tip you’ll feel like the wheel has been re-invented. And yes, while it’s pretty obvious that using light materials is vital when building a racing drone, not everyone has the capacity to make the distinction between a good quality material or one that doesn’t have the needed characteristic. For years now, and it seems that for quite some time to come, carbon fibre is the toughest and lightest material builders can use to make their drones fast and durable at the same time. When building a racing drone, it is best to use 4mm carbon on the arms of your drone since this is the most vulnerable area in case of an impact. For the rest of the frame, a 2mm thick carbon fibre is more than enough for a fast and sturdy drone.

Possibly the only downside of carbon fibre comes from the fact that it’s quite sharp around the edges and this might lead to the breaking of battery straps or the one you use for attaching the GoPro. You don’t really want to lose an expensive camera such as a GoPro but luckily there’s a way around that. And guess what? You can easily apply it on your drone with the use of some superglue and sandpaper. You need to begin with a light sanding of the edges of the carbon fibre with a medium sandpaper, then apply two layers of superglue – make sure to wait for it to dry after the first application before continuing. After everything is perfectly dry, perform an even lighter sanding again and you will be good to go. It goes without saying that this treatment will not temper in any way with the quality and performance of the carbon fibre.

Always Consult the Manual

Sure, it’s all about DIY and building your own, custom racing drone. However, if you’re not an engineering genius, you should always follow the manual, especially when it comes to circuits, batteries and the motor for your racing drone. That’s where all your power comes from so you won’t want to mix anything up, right? When it comes to power leads, operating gear and basically any other circuit on your drone, you simply can’t apply the trial and error approach. You will destroy certain components and waste a lot of money if you’re not following the manual properly. As a special tip when it comes to connectors and power leads you can use a bit of hot glue to make sure everything stays in place during flight, especially in the middle of a very tight race.

Go for FPV

Now that you’ve been through the main tips that are strictly related to building the drone in such a way that it would be as competitive as possible, it’s time to switch a bit to flying your drone. Sure, pilots that have plenty of experience will be able to ‘feel’ the drone in any condition without a problem, however, if you’re going through your first hours of flying, First Person Video will help a lot. It’s a lot easier to understand the height, speed and overall movement of your drone when using FPV. The flying experience will be complete and will help you learn how to better control your drone even without FPV.

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